How Long to Rest in Calisthenics Exercises and Workouts (Based on Science)

If your main goal is muscle growth and hypertrophy you should rest between 60 and 90 seconds between your calisthenics exercises and sets in your workouts. [1]

If you are focusing on muscle endurance and stamina you should rest between 20 and 60 seconds between exercises and sets for bodyweight training. [2]

According to science you should rest a minimum of 48 hours (2 days) between training the same muscle group twice if your main goal is muscle development. [3]

Now let’s see exactly how to apply this information in your workouts. (my experience)

What you will learn

  • How to use rest time in calisthenics in order to maximize muscle and strength growth (With Example)
  • How to use rest time to progress with calisthenics (Super easy)
  • How many hours you need to sleep for muscle growth and recovery (Based on science)
  • What foods you need to eat in order for your body to get enough rest (What I usually eat)

How to use rest time in calisthenics in order to maximize muscle and strength growth (With Example)

So now you know that according to science you must rest between 60 and 90 seconds for exercises and sets and have a 2-day break after you target a specific muscle group to get the fastest results.

Here’s a great calisthenics weekly workout plan that is designed based on those rules.

Calisthenics Full Body Weekly Schedule

  • Monday: Calisthenics Full Body Split
  • Tuesday:  Learn advanced move
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Calisthenics Full Body Split
  • Friday: Learn advanced move
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Calisthenics Full Body Split (Workout)

  • Push-ups 
  • Dips
  • Pull-ups
  • Chin-ups
  • Bodyweight squats
  • Walking lunges
  • Sit-ups

Learn Advanced Move

  • Movement of your choice (Example: Learn Muscle-ups (try to learn the technique + do multiple tries) 

How to train: Do a big circle superset with all 7 exercises one after the other without any rest between. After the superset is done, rest for 90 seconds. Repeat for 3-4 supersets.

Is the recovery time enough?: Yes, as you can see all exercises that target your whole body are done with a minimum rest time of 48 hours (2 days) so your body can recover.

Can I change the exercises/work days?: Absolutely. Adapt the workout to your own individual style and current strength and available equipment. If you have for example a set of resistance bands use them!

How to use rest time to progress with calisthenics (Super easy)

Another great way to use rest time between rest and exercises to your advantage is to help you with progression overload.

According to science in order to continuously build more muscle mass and strength you must progress with all your exercises/workouts and increase the intensity/difficulty with every workout you do. [4]

Here’s how to do it: If you rested for 90 seconds between the sets/exercises in your last workout and you don’t want to add more weight, or choose a harder variation simply lower the rest time to 60 or 75 seconds.

That small time difference will really add up and increase your overall workout intensity which helps with progressive overload.

How many hours you need to sleep for muscle growth and recovery (Based on science)

According to a scientific study done in 2017 it’s recommended to sleep between 7 and 8 hours every day in order to maximize muscle growth and recover properly. [5]

So if you really want to grow those arms and learn those skills, develop the habit to go to bed before 12 pm.

It’s proven that people that sleep during the night feel more energetic, have more energy and are more productive in general. [6]

My experience with sleep: I personally feel really bad if I go to bed after 12 am or have less than 7 hours of sleep. I feel bad the whole day, I don’t have a lot of energy or motivation to do anything. That also has a negative impact on my workouts because I can’t really give 100% of what I have left in the tank which blocks me from progressive overload and further growth.

So whatever you do, always try to sleep enough. It goes hand in hand with your rest and recovery.

What foods you need to eat in order for your body to get enough rest (What I usually eat)

If you really want to recover quickly for your next workout you need to eat the right foods.

It is proven many times that foods such as fruits and vegetables, eggs, salmon (and other types of fish), nuts, seeds and all non-processed foods are a must-have in your diet. [7]

So make sure to include healthy foods that you know exactly where they come from in your day to day meals. (The best scenario is to grow them yourself if you can)

Quick Tip: If you don’t have a large budget for healthy food it’s good practice to look for discounts. Once you see a product you need, buy it in bulk. Then make sure to store it in such a way so it can last for a very long time. (I always do that for all long lasting foods such as rice, beans, nuts, oils, meat and fish (which I froze), pasta, canned foods, etc)

So now you know everything about rest and recovery in calisthenics (or regular weight lifting). 

Use all that knowledge properly and it will help you with your progress and skills!

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